Why does getting a Trademark take so long?

This is the year – you finally decided that you need to take care of the legality of your brand.

You start to do some research to fill up your registration for your trademark, thinking, “Yes, finally! in a few days, this will be forever mine!”

However… Reality crashes when you see the estimated time of wait – 18 MONTHS.

Tons of questions pop up in your head.

What? Why? When?

Well, in this blog and in the video linked below, we will break down step by step why the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) takes up to a year or more to complete your registration.

The beginning of your registration

As soon as you apply for your registration, the very first step is the assignment of an examination attorney to your application. They’ll be in charge of the first review, where they’ll check:


The use of the correct form

The need of specimens

Other purely administrative issues

The second step is a deep dive examination of your application, where your attorney will look for similar applications to understand

What is the main goal of this application?

Will this registration cause problems for another registration or existing trademark?

Total estimated time for the assignment of your attorney + these two examinations = around 3-6 months.


The middle of your registration

After all this examination, the office will notice that you may have made some mistakes, so they will send you an office action, and what is this? The USPTO defines it as “a list of any legal problems with your chosen trademark and the application itself.”

Basically, it’s a list of questions that the office may have regarding your trademark.

The USPTO gives you 6 months to clarify all the questions and fix all the legal problems that your application may have.

P.S. Responding to an office action can take a lot of work and attention to detail. If you want to make sure your application will be successful, schedule a free strategy session to learn more on how we can help you!

Ok, now everything is set, almost ready to go.

Why almost?

Well, you know that part in a wedding where someone can say I OBJECT This can also happen to your registration. The USPTO will make public your application for someone to see and check if they believe your trademark will affect theirs in a way. They only have 30 days to do this. 

Total estimated time to respond to an office action and to oppose your registration: 7-12 months.

After you finish those hard months, you can start to celebrate the reality of getting YOUR trademark, and you will enter:

The never-ending stage of your registration 

Never-ending?? what?

Yes, Trademarks are a long term relationship as you have to consider that:

1. Trademarks last for 5-10 years, so you’ll have to apply for a renewal

2. To make that process easier, you'll have to stay in touch with the USPTO to let them know you keep using the trademark for the registration you initially filled

And there you have it! 

The 3 steps of your registration and the reason why it takes so long for you to have the registration of your trademark completed.